Rowlandson & Pugin aquatint. Published Ackermann's 1809
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Directory: Fine Art: Prints: Etchings: Pre 1837 VR: item # 1218659
Please refer to our stock # 69.6 when inquiring.
This is a very fine hand-coloured aquatint from Rudolph Ackermann’s “The Microcosm of London". It shows a prize giving ceremony in the Great Room at the Society for the Encouragement of Arts (now the Royal Society of Arts).
The society’s headquarters were purpose built by Robert and James Adam in 1774 as part of the Adelphi complex. In this print you can see the set of paintings by James Barry entitled “The Progress of Human Knowledge and Culture". These are still in situ in the Great Room, but the rest of the interior scheme has now disappeared.
“The Microcosm of London" contained over a hundred coloured aquatint plates showing London life. For these, the figures were drawn in gentle caricature by Thomas Rowlandson, one of the most famous satirical artists of Georgian England, and the architectural backgrounds were drawn by Augustus Pugin, a French émigré artist and architectural draughtsman who was father to the great Gothic Revival architect, A.W.N. Pugin. A preliminary proof of each etched plate was printed, and this was then coloured in by Pugin and Rowlandson. Using these hand coloured proofs as a guide, the plates were inked in shades of grey, brown and ochre and the prints made. The remaining colours were then added by hand.
A copy of this print is in the British Government Art Collection (GAC number 12977). It hangs in 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister. Another is in the main print collection of London’s Guildhall Library (no. p5421249).
The condition is good. There are two small repaired tears in the top and bottom margins – these are almost invisible and anyway are well clear of the image.
This is a genuine antique print, over 200 years old. It is not a reproduction.
Please note that the digital watermark on the photographs here is NOT on the original print.
Artist: Thomas Rowlandson (English 1756-1827) / Augustus Charles Pugin (Anglo-French 1762-1832)
Unless otherwise stated above, prints are sold unmounted (not matted) and unframed. Photos showing a print mounted and/or framed are for illustration only unless specifically described otherwise.